Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians

42 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2012

See all articles by Audinga Baltrunaite

Audinga Baltrunaite

Stockholm University

Piera Bello

University of Lugano

Alessandra Casarico

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Paola Profeta

Bocconi University

Date Written: February 21, 2012

Abstract

We analyze the effect of the introduction of gender quotas in candidate lists on the quality of elected politicians. We consider an Italian law which introduced gender quotas in local elections in 1993, and was abolished in 1995. As not all municipalities went through elections during the period the reform was in force, we can identify two groups of municipalities and use a Difference in Differences estimation to analyze the effect of gender quotas on the quality of elected politicians. We find that gender quotas are associated with a higher average number of years of schooling of elected politicians, with the effect ranging from 0.12 to 0.18 years of education. This effect is due not only to the higher number of elected women, who are on average more educated than their male colleagues, but also to the lower number of low-educated elected men. The positive effect on quality is confirmed also when we measure the latter with alternative indicators of the quality of politicians, it persists in the long run and it is robust to the inclusion of political ideology.

Keywords: gender quotas, municipal elections, difference in differences, average years of education

JEL Classification: D720, J450

Suggested Citation

Baltrunaite, Audinga and Bello, Piera and Casarico, Alessandra and Profeta, Paola, Gender Quotas and the Quality of Politicians (February 21, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3734. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2008607

Audinga Baltrunaite

Stockholm University ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10
Stockholm, Stockholm SE-106 91
Sweden

Piera Bello

University of Lugano ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, Ticino 6900
Switzerland

Alessandra Casarico (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Paola Profeta

Bocconi University ( email )

Milan, MI
Italy

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